How could run the famous AutoPilot we all are waiting for ?

I won’t discuss on what is or isn’t the BB philosophy or what it should or shouldn’t be, just on what I need.
For sure, having a never late drummer is something reserved to heaven, but having one you’re obliged to kick all the time may look like hell.
What I need is just in beetween. I do not need to waste even a second with the drummer when on stage but if I need to instantly react depending on the public tonight, well, let’s say a simple kickdown would be the perfect command.
With the BeatBuddy, we are so close to this that we keep frustrated not to reach the holly GRAAL.


The best proposal I could do is probably looking like the picture below :

This will add two event-slots included to the each pattern loop :

  • the pre-pattern named AutoPilot Start,
  • the post-pattern named AutoPilot End

How does it work (in my brain) ?
The Start will be executed right from the start of the pattern and most of the time is only a shot on a Start-accent cymbal, kind of signal for the singer. When activated this will make a cymbal ringing at each start of the pattern, looping or not.

Let’s see what could happen at the end of the AutoPilot :
If the End-Accent is checked, a cymbal sound will be heard at the start of the next pattern but not when the next pattern will be looping again ! Here, we are just talking about the first pattern behavior not the others. But this is how musicians practice their signs on stage : big crash or fill-out or …nose-up.

Now, what if last-Fill just below is checked ?
Another signal for the poor lone singer facing the crowd : it’s time to sing next verse (or chorus).
Usually, the BB player have to tap down before having his next part heard through the fill-out. Not with such a checked box, all he’ll have to do is recognize the signal saying " it’s time to sing the rest". In reality, that’s the way musicians proceed to synchronize themselves on song parts.

And the last - the best ? - option box is the famous Goto-Next we all expect to.

When checked, the BB will go to the next part AFTER having executed all previous option boxes checked, this still without any tap down. Coooooool !

When first out on the market, I was sincerely convinced the BB was THE must-to-have to gig anywhere with a compact band (which is the biggest demand from bars & restaurants owners, everywhere).
Curiously, I observed the beast was not so popular I predicted with musicians, now I know why : that machine is not convenient when it’s time to focus on singing. Believe me or not, I live south France, which is a highly touristic area, and I have seen none of artists I would have bet on with a BB. Most of rare ones having brought the BB pedal they all finished to resell it in dispear.
I really-really believe features above are mandatory to keep BBuddy in the music business.

One last demonstration ?
Yesterday, I just brought the COLDPLAY hits collection at the BeatBuddy online store.
See below the structure of what they prepared for us. I have to confess the work is serious.
But if you can explain me how to save tap dance using such a strucure, for sure you’re a champion !
Do I have to tell the name of that song : The Hardest Part

And all the collection looks the same.
Thanks buddies. Do you bundle (left) shoes with your pedal ?

Most of BBuddy onboard features are a big step ahead for drumbox users so do not supress 'em. I want to keep continuing to stop&go or hit&hit the cymbal depending on the public reactions. Please Mr BeatBuddy, just complete your standard functions with features I described here.

Anyway, I need more the features above than left shoes to use the BeatBuddy on stage, escaping from frustration.
Is there anybody here of the same opinion as mine ?

When I do songs that are for my own performances, I like to do them in what I call a “jam” version. It is a modified version of the One Press Bass songs, that selects a section of the song over which lead guitar breaks can be played. My usual structure then is Intro = everything before the jam, jam, outro = everything after the jam. This helps eliminate any real tap dance. One Press to start, which plays through the repeating jam, and then one additional Press to get to the outro (although in writeups I have this as a double tap, in reality I use the extension pedal progammed to go to the outro with a single tap.) I find this structure can be made to work for over 90% of the songs I want to play, others may have a more complex individualized approach, but nothing comes remotely close to the complexity of “the hardest part.”

100% agree with you, persist.
I’ve analysed one of your songs designed so and instantly see how clever is your design.

Believe it or not, I really dislike the OP versions of songs. They provide absolutely no flexibility, and that was what made the beatbuddy work so well. But, sometimes, the beatbuddy’s “features” actually turn out to be huge pains in the ass–like trying to outguess you when you say “play a fill” or transition.

I designed and implemented a very simple autopilot, and for my purposes it worked very well. It was one simple addition: how many times do you loop the main?

So you could play intro, main, fill, main, fill2, main, transition, outro, just by starting the song. Want to skip to the end? We already know how to do that. Want to loop a “solo” section, and exit it when you say? set the loop count to 0.

It looked like this:

That’s all that most songs need. This song would play: I, A, B, A, B2, A, O

The problem I had with using this thing live is that unless you hit the “fill” exactly on the exact time, it would skip into the fill and play part of it. So if the fill was the chorus, you miss half the first line of it. I’m sure this autopilot is still hidden in the code, but that doesn’t matter if it’s no longer in the firmware. I really thought my solution was so simplistic and elegant that it was a no brainer, but ultimately, it was not up to me to decide.

I like your point of view aashideacon.
In my understanding,

  • a Loop value of zero would mean “Loop all the time keeping fills run as usual”.
  • a “X” Loop value greater than zero would mean “Loop X times keeping fills run as usual then goto next part”. After X loops, the jump would be obvious.
    This would bring variability to the game, still allowing to switch to another part by pushing down a longer time, but fixing the number of times the part would loop to give the singer a strong structure kernel.
    At least, if we could add both suggestions, it would be the perfect AutoPilot, wouldn’t it be ?

I’d really like to see this implemented. It is easy to work with. As well as maintaining the flexibility that the pedal was designed for, it also allows for much easier editing of a piece that working with a long OPB midi, or even one of my Jam midis. It’s simply a more elegant, better designed solution.

Lack of AutoPilot like functionality is why I still conciser the Beat Buddy a toy and not a tool I would use while performing.

I will have to look at Phil Flood solution although it still feels like I have to arrange the song for the Beat Buddy and not for me.

Ohhhh yes! That is a freaking good idea! That would just be perfect for live gigs!